Video Friday

This week, I finish this particular drawing, apart from a few bits and bobs.

Partway through the video, the microphone just stopped recording. I have no idea why. So, for the last part of the video, I’ve sped my drawing up 5x and just put some music to go with it.

Guess I’m going to have to learn to do voice-overs as well as learning the new digital art stuff!

I’d appreciate likes for this video, as well as new subscriptions to my channel.

Nature

Nature – an entangled artwork. It looks like batik, silk painting or stained glass!

The design was drawn in pen on bristol board and then coloured digitally in Clip Studio Paint Pro using a textured watercolour brush.

I’m determined to find my way around this piece of software, along with Affinity Designer at some point. The effects are the same as Sketchbook, but just not quite so easy to find the tools I want to use at first. It’s all a case of familiarity and I’m definitely outside of being familiar with the software at the moment.

Having said that, all that I’ve learned about layers, the various effects that can be applied, brush settings and so on, apply to all digital art platforms. It’s just finding my way around the software and learning more about it.

The one thing that’s top of my list at the moment is setting up a custom colour palette.

I’ve discovered that Clip Studio Paint has symmetry tools – phew! And these tools do a thing or two not available in Sketchbook as well as working slightly differently (and making certain things a lot easier for sure.

So, onwards and upwards I go.

So frustrating!

It’s been a frustrating few hours. I scanned these two drawings in, went to edit and colour in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, only to find that Autodesk has cancelled the pro, subscribed version and the only one available is the free version.

The free version doesn’t allow me to alter contrast, or work at different dpi, and it is a tad unstable it seems.

Also, there was no warning of this and I had no chance to save all my own custom brushes.

To say I’m gutted is an understatement. Sketchbook Pro has been my pathway into digital art and I absolutely love its intuitive interface.

So, I’m now looking into other software I have on my ‘puter. I learned to edit and colour and add texture layers, background and text using Clip Studio Paint.

It works well, but the interface isn’t so intuitive, it’s so much like the Adobe products, with menu after menu after menu. I can see that it’s more powerful.

Trying to look on the bright side, maybe I’d become way too comfortable with Sketchbook Pro and it’s now time for me to learn new digital skills and extend the ones I already have. So this may be a blessing in disguise.

All I know is that it’s going to be darn frustrating for a while until I get to grips with this new software.

I’m tempted to have a look at Corel Paint, but I suspect it’s user interface is as confusing and not intuitive either.

I still have access to the free version of Autodesk Sketchbook. But it is missing some of the features I loved so much about the subscription version.

Anyways, I discovered the watercolour brushes in Clip Studio and used them to add colour to the top design, and I like these ones very much. I’ll see how I get along with it, but first I need breakfast. Yes, It’s nearly 2:30pm and I’ve not had breakfast yet! So I’m going to eat and then it’ll be onwards and upwards digitally, I trust.

Now I’ve had my moan, here’s some info about the drawings:

14.5cm x 14.5cm Bristol board
Faber-Castell fineliner pen
Colours and textures added digitally using Clip Studio Paint

Entangled Monograms

I’ve enjoyed doing these! The squares are 3.25″ x 3.25, 3.5″ x 3.5″ or 4″ x 4″ in size. The circles are almost 3.5″ in diameter.

The tiles were cut from a variety of papers – watercolour, bristol vellum and heavyweight smooth cartridge paper. I used Distress Inks to colour the paper tiles before drawing on them.

I’ve used Sakura Pigma Micron pens (05 and 01), along with some brown and one blue-green Stabilio fineliner pens.

I like them all, But my favourites are the ones that are much more geometric in nature – my initials and the A in particular. My least favourite is the E; the background to the letter just feels disjointed. I think that’s why I like the more symmetrical, geometrical designs more.

I’ve enjoyed using one or two tones of colour to add variety, interest and ‘dimension’ to the tiles. I’ve not added any shadow or highlight to these. That’s when things tend to go wrong for me as far as traditional media is concerned!

It also occurred to me that if I were to draw these on a different shaped paper, I could add dangle designs to them. (My book “A Dangle A Day” is still available). Maybe I’ll try that out in a while. Of course, I’d like to get a full set of monograms done too.

Insomniac Art 20 Jan 2021

It was one of those nights. I woke way too early feeling way too hot, even though the windows were open in the Welsh Winter. Hot flashes, again. So, the only thing to do was to draw until I was cool enough to get back to sleep. That took until nearly 8 am, GMT.

These are the little drawings I completed during my insomniac hours. My Sakura Pigma Sensei 04 pen is nearly done – either the nib is too worn to work properly or the ink is mostly gone, I’m not entirely sure which. I know I have a heavy hand with pens and tend to wreck them before all the ink has gone.

Anyway, I witter. I’m still trying to figure out how to add words into my drawings. I’m not entirely sure I’m being successful in this. No doubt I’ll keep on trying though!

These were drawn on A4 acid-free cartridge paper in one of my current sketchbooks. I added the background colour digitally.

Sketchbook flip-through

I’ve been busy indulging myself in comfort art over the past couple of weeks. So, I thought I’d share some of the pages in one of my A4 sketchbooks that relate to zentangle.

I’m no photographer, just saying!

I used a whole host of different media to complete the drawings
-pens, including Pigma Micron, Unipin, Uni Emott, Chameleon Fineliners, Pitt Artist Pens, Staedtler Triplus fineliners, Tombow Fudenosuke and a Zebra fudenosuke
-a range of pencils including Prisma Ebony graphite, Daler-Rowney sketching pencils, white graphite pencil, Derwent coloured drawing pencils and ordinary drawing pencils and a ruler to give guidelines for dividing the pages up
– tortillons and paper stumps, along with sandpaper to clean the tips!
– Inktense, Tombow Dualbrush pens, Faber Castell Pitt artist pens and a waterbrush for the more intensely coloured patterns

Some of the work has been done on days where I just needed to lose myself in something familiar, comforting. The rest of it during my nights of broken sleep.

The newest stuff are the pages of ’embedded’ letters – the monograms. Definitely a tad on the weird side as I’ve not found my way with this idea. But I will persevere over time.

Tuesday Typography for Paleotober

I had to take a totally different approach to completing this piece of typographic art – pencil drawing the design and letter outlines on paper before inking and scanning into the computer.

Once scanned in, I could clean the image up, fill the shapes with black. I learned how I could use some of the tools in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to do this. However, in black and white the artwork looked just so flat and dull.

So, I added a chalkboard background in a lovely sea blue (ammonites were denizens of the oceans after all!), and added a colour gradient to the typography.

It then looked a bit better. But I thought I’d try adding highlights and some shadows. And that just did the trick and I was finally happy with what I’d produced. It was good enough for another step on my typographic art apprenticeship.

That doesn’t mean there are things I wouldn’t do differently the next time I try something like this. My hand lettering needs a lot of work on, as does my attention to the letter weights too. I’ve just realised that I meant to draw tiny ammonites in the dark blocks between words as spacers. Also, I could’ve spent a lot of time tidying up the lettering digitally.

I also learned that working on paper gives me a much better overall view of the design and how things sit together. For some reason I struggle with this when working digitally. It may be that digitally I can zoom in and out and often work unaware of what is around the design. With paper, that overall perspective is ever present.

Digital art is something I love to work with, but I’m realising that I do need to work on paper too, even if it’s a sketch or drawing that can then be enhanced, edited and completed digitally.

#Slowtember – Days 2, 3 & 4

Yesterday afternoon and this morning I’ve spent time catching up with #Slowtember by @megaelod on twitter. Here’s the sketchbook page I created for the prompts monstera (Swiss Cheese Plant), areca palm and rubber plant.

I took the opportunity to practice my hand drawn typography / hand lettering, as well as my use of line to add volume to a line drawing.

I’m not the best with colour, or with traditional media to add colour, but I think I’ve done OK with some of these. I like the simple washes of gradient colours in the areca and rubber plant leaves. The line work is nice, but the colour brings it to life. The monstera leaf done in coloured pencils works well as far as a sense of volume goes, but I’m not the best with coloured pencils, even using blending solution.

I even found some microscopic images of cells from monstera and rubber plant leaves and stems. So, I just had to do quick drawings of patterns from these, with some imaginary colour added to them.

It’s nice to do this challenge. It’s not as full on and intense as Inktober is, and even if I fall behind there’s not so much to catch up with. It’s also nice to work in a sketchbook (or digitally) as there’s no pressure to complete a finished piece of work. I like how I’ve left some of my drawings partly coloured so I can compare how colour adds (or not) to the design.

When I’m looking at my page and writing about it I always have ideas about how I could’ve approached an idea, or get new ideas. Time for me to go and jot them down before I forget them!

Monogram B

Finally finished it! It’s taken many hours to do – probably around 15 I think, and it’s taken some perseverance by myself to get it done.

Uniball Unipin pens (05, 03 and 01) on Claire Fontaine Paint-on mixed media paper. Two pen nibs now wrecked; the paper is velvety smooth to touch, but just too rough for the tips of the Unipin pens. Will move to Bristol board for the next monogram.

Slowtember 2020

I decided to do Slowtember. I like having prompts to challenge me, take me a little outside of my usual style. However, Inktober can be a bit full on with daily prompts. Slowtember gives that breathing space, and I can work it in around my other commitments.

Thanks to @megaelod on twitter for the idea and prompts!

So, the first prompt was a choice betwixt pothos and chill. I decided to combine them! I like foliage, and the word gives me a chance to try out some hand drawn typography/hand lettering.

I sketched the quite stylised design on dot grid paper, inked it with Unipin pens and then scanned it in. after some digital clean up and slight adjustments, I added some simple colour and shadow.

You’d think adding simple colour would be easy, yes? Nope! Choosing the right greens wasn’t easy for me. And then there was the typography. I lost count of how many times I tried different ways to colour the letters. Eventually I decided enough was enough and the gradient I had was good enough.

As I think now, after breakfast and some mocha, I could’ve done the word as a flower pot, or used it to add shadow to a flower pot. Maybe I’ll give that a go for the next prompt (monstera and water).

Complex drawings are my stock in trade. Going simple and stylised is not quite so easy! Still, it was fun to do, a bit frustrating at times, but the result is perhaps good enough, though I’m not sure about that.